13 July 2009

In 1955 the US Air Force evaluated ground-launched version of the Navy's RIM-8 Talos shipboard air defense missile to provide Strategic Air Command bases and Atomic Energy Commission sites with a capable point-defense system from Soviet air strikes. The evaluation stemmed from a USAF concern with relying on the Army's Nike-Ajax system for protection of its installations. The following year, the USAF had requested Defense Department funding for site surveys for Talos installations and had survey teams ready to go once funding was secured; instead the DoD had the evaluation program transferred to the Army's Air Defense Command (ARADCOM) and after a period of testing, it was decided to proceed with the Nike-Hercules missile instead.

The Talos, however, served successfully with the Navy until 1979.

Source: Rings of Supersonic Steel- Air Defenses of the United States Army 1950-1979 by Mark L. Morgan and Mark A. Berhow. Fort MacArthur Press, 2002 (Second Edition), p28.

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